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Season pass sales to end Nov. 19

Whistler Blackcomb customers urged to buy early for best deals

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If you're hoping to buy a season pass or Edge card this winter, you best do it before Nov. 19.

On Oct. 23, Vail Resorts-Whistler Blackcomb (WB) announced a deadline of Sunday, Nov. 19 to purchase its Epic Pass, WB Unlimited Season Pass, 5- and 10-day Edge cards, the Sea to Sky Pass and Student Pass.

After Nov. 19, none of those passes will be available for the 2017-18 winter season.

The deadline follows the same one set by other properties owned by Vail Resorts, explained WB's senior manager of communications Marc Riddell.

"The whole business model is based around that pass deadline, and when we have those pass deadlines we reward our most loyal guests by providing the best value for those folks who buy early," Riddell said.

For those who miss the Nov. 19 deadline, WB will still be offering what it calls "Epic Day Passes," available in single or multi-days.

No price has been set for day passes yet, Riddell said, but the earlier you buy, the better deal you'll get.

"If you're planning on coming out, plan to purchase early and you'll realize the best savings," he said.

The Epic Pass is listed at US$899 for adults and US$469 for children.

The WB Unlimited Season Pass is CDN$1,349 for adults and CDN$469 for children.

Five-day Edge cards start at CDN$419, and 10-day cards at CDN$719.

Head to whistlerblackcomb.com/save for more info.

There will be more information coming out ahead of the Nov. 19 deadline, Riddell added.

"It's a behavioural change, right?" he said.

"And behavioural changes are hard to shift, and so our focus is to try to be there every step of the way and try to talk in advance of those deadlines (so) that we're able to get people to get their pass products."

But Whistler parents may have some hard decisions to make, as some previous options are no longer available: the two-for-one parent pass is gone as of Sept. 4, and a 10-per-cent family discount ended Oct. 8.

The Whistler Chamber of Commerce Spirit Pass, meanwhile, will now be the only pass product available year round.

"The Whistler Experience is still your pathway to (the) 2017/18 Whistler Blackcomb Spirit Pass," said Chamber CEO Melissa Pace in an emailed statement, adding that the pass is on sale now for CDN$1,229 plus tax (and will be at that price until April 1, 2018).

"The Spirit Pass will continue to offer the same additional Whistler Blackcomb perks and benefits that the Whistler Blackcomb Unlimited Season Pass offers including 20 per cent off on-mountain food, up to 20 per cent off retail, CDN$50 off select lessons and unlimited summer sightseeing access," Pace said.

"Enrol yourself and your team in Fall Whistler Experience courses and enjoy the best deal to ski and ride all season while gaining a world-class service and sales skill set that will serve you for life."

Find more details about the Spirit Pass at www.whistlerchamber.com.

With snow starting to hit the valley, many are curious if the mountain may open early as it has in previous years — something that isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, Riddell said.

"Right now our opening day is Nov. 23, in time for the (American) Thanksgiving weekend, but we are really sensitive to the fact that we have opened early in the past," he said.

"If we have an opportunity we will look at it, but right now we're focused on Nov. 23."

In the meantime, Vail Resorts is still in the process of aligning its software with that of WB.

"So far, so good," Riddell said of the process.

"Obviously there's hiccups with anything — it's a massive undertaking."

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